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Supporting Nation-Led Community Based Fisheries

The primary goal of a community-based fishery (CBF) is to increase shareholder Nations’ access to, and benefits from, fishery resources by revitalizing their small boat fleets and by playing a central role in sustainably managing their fisheries.

Developed and managed by each shareholder Nation in collaboration with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), the CBFs will be based on the needs and priorities of each individual Nation, tapping into a stewardship ethic and local knowledge base that goes back thousands of years. It also means active involvement of local fish harvesters, and an emphasis on collaboration, shared responsibility and sustainable practices that will ensure long-term viability of fisheries into the future.

Guided by key priorities identified in the FRRA, Coastal Nations Fisheries is committed to supporting each shareholder Nation in building and successfully running their CBF—from facilitation of initial planning and implementation efforts to ongoing operational, training and capacity support. Key to implementing shareholder Nations’ community fisheries is CNF’s role in purchasing the licences and quota specific to the needs of individual Nations. As each Nation develops and implements their CBF strategic plan, CNF targets their efforts to securing access—licences and quota—to the priority fisheries identified in those plans.

CNF also supports the fisheries and stewardship offices in each Nation as they develop their community-based fishery in a way that increases economic opportunities while ensuring area fish populations are sustained for future generations. This includes support for developing policies, programming and processes necessary for Nations to manage and monitor their CBF effectively.

At the bioregional scale, CNF provides technical support for the Community Based Fishery Sub-Committee—a group of representatives from each shareholder Nation and DFO, tasked with assisting in the strategic development and implementation of the CBFs, as per the FRRA. The committee’s main priorities are well underway, including processes and programming for licensing, data tracking, management planning, and fishing flexibilities that will support the CBF objectives.

CNF is also supporting a number of business development programs, such as the co-development of a vessel and gear loan and grant program in partnership with the Native Fishing Association and Vancity Credit Union, which will support current and new fish harvesters to re-enter or start a fishing career, or to upgrade an existing vessel or gear. The primary intent of this program is to reduce barriers for fish harvesters aiming to access the capital necessary to buy or refit a fishing vessel, or to purchase the gear required for their target fisheries.

By implementing the strategies set out here, CNF will continue to serve the Nations and their fisheries interests in improving both ecosystem health while also realizing economic benefits and community wellbeing.


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